UPDATED: The changes to the National Construction Code will come into force in May and Kingspan Insulation is getting in early with the necessary adjustments.
In preparation for the NCC changes in May, Kingspan Insulation is retiring what it claims is its bestselling product.
The Kooltherm K10 FM Soffit Board rigid insulation product – a group 1 surface lining material under the NCC – will no longer be compliant to the code after the cut-off date, according to the building materials company.
This is because from May, to align with the new standard (AS 5637) and gain a group number at all (which determines a product’s fire hazard properties and stipulates what buildings and applications it can be used for) soffit materials need to be installed on both walls and ceiling during the full-scale room fire test ISO 9705.
Previously, soffit materials were fire tested according to how they would be used – either on the ceiling or the wall.
Kingspan Insulation Australia marketing manager Neil Cox told The Fifth Estate that this is a significant change because the materials now must withstand higher temperatures during the test because it is closer to the heat source.
“If you imagine a burner in the corner and the product is on the ceiling it’s a long way from the heat source, the product now needs to be on the wall too so it’s much closer to the heat source.”
The discontinued product acquired its group 1 certification under the previous AS ISO 9705 methods, with materials lining the ceiling only.
Mr Cox said that in the current environment, the company supports any changes to regulation that will strengthen the regulation of non-compliant products.
His comments follow a spate of building defects and compliance issues in Australia, including the cladding on the façade of Melbourne’s Neo200 Tower catching fire.
The company appears to be taking the NCC changes in its stride and is rolling out a new product that is compliant to the standard introduced in 2016, AS 5637, and holds a Group 2 fire rating.
“Kingspan Insulation have been preparing for this transition for some time. We are confident in our ability to supply a product that will not only adhere to the new NCC standard but will also provide the same great thermal performance that our customers have come to expect from us,” Kingspan Insulation sales director Craig Burr said.
The new foil faced rigid board insulation has already undergone the ISO 9705 test to achieve a group 2 rating. It also features a thicker foil lining.
This group number rating means the product can be used in most buildings except fire isolated exits, fire control rooms, sprinklered public corridors in either class 3 buildings or in class 9b buildings (other than schools).
Mr Cox suspects the company is ahead of the pack in adapting to the changes because no other company has shown a test report with a group 2 rating. “This means their products are restricted as to where they can be used.”
They may well get there before the deadline, he added.
- The Fifth Estate is happy to investigate this story further in response to commentary. Please send any further information to firstname.lastname@example.org